Upon entering The Westin Grand Berlin for the first time, you are perhaps struck most by the grandness (sorry, but it's true) of the lobby. Covered in several forests’ worth of medium-to-dark-hued wood paneling, and anchored by a magnificent 6- or 7-story atrium, the hotel definitely has a unique, luxe look. There are complimentary issues of Der Tagesspiegel along with other periodicals and a chic floral display in the lobby, along with the Relish restaurant.
The hotel staff were generally friendly and, as a non-German speaker, I felt as though they were most kind when I just started speaking English rather than trying to speak German first. I found this to be counterintuitive, as, for example, when I asked a server at Relish in German if I could speak English after she greeted me and asked me something in German, she just tilted her head and, with a slightly exasperated facial expression, said “Ok?”. When I would instead maybe say “Guten Tag” and then just start speaking in English, it was a lot easier and no one seemed to be as annoyed. I found this strange as, on the same trip, in Paris, the people I interacted with much preferred the prior scenario.
My friend and I shared a room booked with his SPG Platinum points. We were upgraded with a special Suite Night request to a Junior Suite which was quite large and was most incredible for the fact that it had 1.5 baths! The view was nice, overlooking a rear courtyard and was quiet. There is a ton of construction going on all over Berlin, but especially near the hotel as they are working on a new metro station, so perhaps rooms facing the street might be incredibly loud during the daytime although I cannot vouch for this. One incredibly positive note was that the housekeeping staff were amazing! The person who maintained our room would even fold our clothes which were left on the bed, not just in some casual way but really with quite a bit of precision. This department's staff were also incredibly kind and definitely exceeded my expectations.
The hotel is ideally located for shopping-centric travel itineraries at a point which is within a few blocks' walking distance of Galeries Lafayette and Quartier 206, along with being very close to the Gendarmenmarkt, Reichstag, Brandenburg Tor, Friedrichstrasse metro stop and also within about 7-10 minutes' walk of Museum Island. For these reasons, this hotel is in a fabulous location for the average tourist. However, as there are so many significant historical attractions/buildings (including almost innumerable embassies) nearby, the area has a heavy pedestrian police presence and can feel very clinical, almost even sterile in its uniformity in terms of being a slew of very newish-looking grey or beige stone buildings. There are definitely unique buildings and the area is very safe which is important, but this area just doesn't have the fun or edgy vibe of a city that I thought it would. For comparison's sake, it felt like staying in the Back Bay area of Boston as opposed to the South End or Cambridge. There is nothing wrong with it, but it just felt very corporate and uniform. By comparison, if you take the U2 line to Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz there is an area there (still part of the Mitte district) which is much more fun and has an amazing array of stores and restaurants and is perfect for the 20- to 30something who wants to see something more unique. This area could more compare to some interesting part of Brooklyn. Also worth a visit if going to Berlin is the Filetstueck restaurant in Prenzlauer Berg (U2 metro to Eberswalder Strasse) – one of the best steaks I have ever had - and seeing the 300 foot wide Karl Marx Allee (U5 metro to Strausberger Platz).
Overall, hotel was like the standard beautiful, elegant 4-star hotel you would experience in the US. Staff was generally good and as mentioned previously the location is very good for most tourists’ points of interest. However, the hotel did not really “wow” me at any point aside from the 1.5 baths in the Junior Suite or the diligence of the housekeeping staff. So I would recommend this hotel not as much for younger single travelers or for those requiring some sort of transcendent aesthetic or luxury experience as I would for those needing to be within walking distance of some of the major tourist points and only a few moments away from extensive shopping options.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Famous location in the historic city centre, trendy district "Berlin-Mitte", on the corner "Unter den Linden"/ "Friedrichstrasse" and very well connected to all public transportation.Sights like Brandenburger Tor, Checkpoint Charlie, Museumsinsel and Gendarmenmarkt within walking distance. 400 Elegant rooms and suites, lavish lobby with grand staircase, restaurant, bar, summer terrace, spacious hotel garden, spa with indoor pool, fitness area, business center, 10 function rooms. Have a little relaxation and stay well! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Westin Grand Berlin Hotel Berlin
- Westin Hotel Berlin
- Westin Berlin
- Berlin Westin